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  • Writer's pictureMarisa Ramsey

Smart Start 2023-2024: Week 21

This week was all about the letter A and it is also Black History Month which means we are learning about the life and work of Alma Thomas. Alma Thomas was a teacher and artist who developed a powerful form of abstract painting late in life. From the mid-1960s, she produced brilliantly colored and richly patterned works intimately connected to the natural world. Thomas’s post-retirement paintings earned tremendous critical praise. She became the first Black woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Thomas reflected on her segregated childhood: “One of the things we couldn’t do was go into museums, let alone think of hanging our pictures there. My, times have changed. Just look at me now.”

Alma's art is bright, bold, and approachable. Our students worked individually this week to create pieces inspired by Alma Thomas. We also worked collaboratively on a piece for our classroom. This was our inspiration:

Alma Thomas's  Wind Dancing with Spring Flowers, 1969 Acrylic on canvas, 50 3/16 x 48 1/16 in.  

Here is our work in progress:

And here is our finished piece!

This work features so many concepts that we are learning. While painting, our students were reviewing shapes, colors, symmetry, and patterning. While we worked, we talked about collaboration and cooperation which requires communication and kindness.

Our scientific discoveries this week were all about air. We learned earlier in the year that temperature changes things. We know how temperature changes water so this week we experimented to find out if temperature impacts the air.

We also got curious about how air impacts other apples! We talked about how so many of us enjoy apples at snack time, but we've all noticed that sliced apples turn brown. We wondered, "Why is that?" and then experimented to see if there was a way to stop our apples from turning brown.

More Letter A learning and play:

  • architecture

  • Albert Einstien early circuits

  • animals

  • acting

  • abstract art

As always, we hope these blog posts are a fun and engaging way for you to review the week with your child. We hope they provide a glimpse into our learning and play and that they give your child a springboard to tell you all about their friends and experiences at Smart Start!

Don't forget! On Monday, Smart Start will meet at the Russell County Public Library for Science in Play2Go!

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